Following his graduation in Germany, Kristijonas Vizbaras, who has set up a high-technology company in Lithuania together with his brothers, could have chosen any country in the world to implement his ideas. Lithuania provided the best business environment and an opportunity to do his favourite scientific work.
One of the founders of the company and its technology director Kristijonas Vizbaras was first introduced to semi-conductor technology when he started studying physics at Vilnius University. By his second year, he and his brother were already spending a lot of time in the laboratory. At first the new young scientists found the conditions in the laboratory satisfactory, but as they got deeper into their work, they saw that the old equipment was limiting their imagination.
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“Today the laboratories of the Physics Faculty of Vilnius University have some modern devices, but when we were students we were working with the same equipment as our father had, and that was 25 years before.” the scientist notes.
Looking for a better base for studies, Kristijonas and Augustinas Vizbaras left for Sweden. However, the master’s degree in physics offered by the Royal Institute of Technology did not really impress the ambitious young men.
“We went abroad to work in modern laboratories, but the Swedes do not allow that. If you want to work in a lab you have to have a master’s degree. This is because most of the students are not sufficiently prepared for their studies and the authorities fear that the students might damage the equipment. That is true, but talented students also suffer because of this attitude. Such a policy did not suit us,” Mr Vizbaras said.
A professor who worked at the Royal Institute of Technology suggested that the brothers from Lithuania should look for opportunities in Germany or the USA because these two countries are leaders in terms of semi-conductor electronics and optoelectronics.
When they visited the Technical University of Munich, the young men wanted to know whether they would be allowed to work in the laboratories. The Germans were agreed and the young scientists moved to Germany. They completed their doctoral studies there also.
“We didn’t leave Lithuania for a better life, but because we could not study what we wanted to at the time. Even now when Lithuania provides fairly good conditions for high-technology business, it is worth going abroad and looking around–at least just to broaden your horizons and learn more,” Mr Vizbaras said.
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Before starting their business the three brothers considered the best place to do so. There were three choices: Germany, the USA and Lithuania. The young men took their decision following their pragmatic way of thinking–the business environment in their native country turned out to be more favourable.
“You can create a business in Lithuania very quickly. As Lithuania is only starting to develop a high-technology industry, conditions are really good. For example, we can afford to patent any invention in Lithuania. This is a very expensive procedure in the rest of the world,” the young scientist emphasised.
Having taken advantage of the investments made by the risk capital fund LitCapital and with the support of EU Structural Funds–a total of over EUR 4 million–the brothers established one of the most modern laboratories in the whole of Eastern Europe not far from Vilnius. Previously unheard of technologies are being developed here.
The brothers hope that their laser-sensitive technology, which was used for the development of the Mars robot Curiosity, will find a place in our daily lives–perhaps we could diagnose tonsillitis by means of smart phones, or check our blood alcohol level, etc.
Brolis Semiconductors, the high-technology company established by the brothers, has clients from over 160 companies throughout the world from Japan to the United States of America.
Read full article in Lithuanian at 15min.lt
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